Barack Obama Polarized Race in America

In the current issue of the Boston Review, Charles H. Stewart III and Stephen Ansolabehere, two MIT professors, argue that the election of Barack Obama was hardly evidence of a post-racial age. Instead, as exit poll data indicates, Obama was elected "precisely because of his race" — by African-American voters who turned out in record numbers.

This data leads Stewart and Ansolabehere to conclude that, "racial polarization in American voting patterns was the highest it has been since the 1984 election." As noted in an MIT news release, the percentage of blacks voting Democratic rose from 88 percent in 2004 to 95 percent in 2008 and Hispanics voting Democratic rose from 56 percent to 67 percent, meaning that it was nonwhites who were the decisive factor in the election. Strangely, the youth vote was only 18 percent of the total -- nowhere near the highs of 1972 and 1992, and thus had virtually no impact on Obama's victory. Of greater significance were voting patterns of those 25-30 years old, according to the release. And of benefit to the Democratic party, these "older young" are likely to remain loyally Democratic for years to come. How do you feel about whether Obama represents a new-way of dealing with race in America. Check out Newark mayor Cory Booker's ideas on the topic here. And you can watch MIT professor Charles Stewart on race and the 2008 election here.


How to vaccinate the world’s most vulnerable? Build global partnerships.

Pfizer's partnerships strengthen their ability to deliver vaccines in developing countries.

Susan Silbermann, Global President of Pfizer Vaccines, looks on as a health care worker administers a vaccine in Rwanda. Photo: Courtesy of Pfizer.
Sponsored
  • Community healthcare workers face many challenges in their work, including often traveling far distances to see their clients
  • Pfizer is helping to drive the UN's sustainable development goals through partnerships.
  • Pfizer partnered with AMP and the World Health Organization to develop a training program for healthcare workers.
Keep reading Show less

Why American history lives between the cracks

The stories we tell define history. So who gets the mic in America?

Videos
  • History is written by lions. But it's also recorded by lambs.
  • In order to understand American history, we need to look at the events of the past as more prismatic than the narrative given to us in high school textbooks.
  • Including different voices can paint a more full and vibrant portrait of America. Which is why more walks of American life can and should be storytellers.
Keep reading Show less

Jesus wasn't white: he was a brown-skinned, Middle Eastern Jew. Here's why that matters

There is no doubt that the historical Jesus, the man who was executed by the Roman State in the first century CE, was a brown-skinned, Middle Eastern Jew.

Hans Zatzka (Public Domain)/The Conversation, CC BY-ND
popular

I grew up in a Christian home, where a photo of Jesus hung on my bedroom wall. I still have it. It is schmaltzy and rather tacky in that 1970s kind of way, but as a little girl I loved it. In this picture, Jesus looks kind and gentle, he gazes down at me lovingly. He is also light-haired, blue-eyed, and very white.

Keep reading Show less

Scientists claim the Bible is written in code that predicts future events

The controversy around the Torah codes gets a new life.

Michael Drosnin
Surprising Science
  • Mathematicians claim to see a predictive pattern in the ancient Torah texts.
  • The code is revealed by a method found with special computer software.
  • Some events described by reading the code took place after the code was written.
Keep reading Show less